Covid-19: an era before and after in the history

There are innumerable edges to the pandemic problem and they can only be understood in their mutual interrelation, the crisis is individual-collective, natural-social.

Covid-19: an era before and after in the history
An era before and after in history. Photo by Elena Mozhvilo / Unsplash

Can anyone plan for the next 20 years with any certainty? Uncertainty takes sides destabilizing certainties. The real public health risks were less than the political health risks. There must be a change in attitude toward our environment. The edges of the pandemic problem are innumerable and can only be understood in their mutual interrelation, the crisis is individual-collective, natural-social, assured the coordinator of Humanities of the UNAM, Guadalupe Valencia García, at the International Book Fair of Guadalajara.

During the presentation of the book "Post-COVID/Pos-Neoliberalism. Proposals and alternatives for social transformation in times of crisis", coordinated by John M. Ackerman, head of the University Program of Studies on Democracy, Justice, and Society (PUEDJS) of the UNAM, she stated that possible futures have no guaranteed outcome, which is why uncertainty takes sides, destabilizing certainties. The authors of the book, co-published by INEHRM and Siglo XXI Editores, "discuss the future of the possible futures of humanity with a deep intellectual depth to speak, in the flow of history, of an era before and after COVID," remarked the university professor as moderator.

The presentation was attended by the former Vice President of Bolivia, Álvaro García Linera, who said: "We are living in an unhinged time of the loss of a unified horizon, of people's imagined destiny. It is as if there were no direction. Can anyone plan the next 20 years with any certainty?" he asked.

This uncertainty is distressing, but it also becomes fertile ground for overturning old beliefs. "Latin America has already taken the first step towards a cognitive reopening for social change, although the road will be long as we are going to live through very uncertain times with temporary victories and defeats for popular movements," the Bolivian sociologist declared. An unstable decade is coming, characterized by social turbulence in the world and "we depend on collective activism so that the future does not crush us or improve our living conditions".

In his speech, John M. Ackerman stated that one of the most important threats to democratic construction in the post-COVID era is "the neo-fascist dreams of the billionaires who control the digital platforms. As well as the belief in technoscience that fosters the fantasy that it is possible to magically wipe COVID off the map." The solution comes from collective action and mass democratic politics. We have to take to the streets and dialogue head-on to transform society. "The real public health risks were less than the political health risks, a consequence of the eternal lengthening of the popular mobilization drought," he said.

In his turn, Jeremy Corbyn, member of the British Parliament, considered: we have to change direction, there has to be a change of attitude towards our environment, we have to change the free market economy and consumption patterns that have caused the global crisis.

"The pandemic highlighted the betrayal of the richest countries and people against the majority of the population, the poorest people in the world. As an example, the control of digital platforms over the flow of information, where the owners of these companies increased their fortune by 59 percent. Governments should be investing in education and technology, instead, they are implementing austerity programs to pay the debts acquired by attending to the pandemic, so that the rich will continue to be rich and the poor will suffer as a result; the world will become more unequal," he remarked.